4 Good Reasons to Masturbate in Midlife

By Ryn Pfeuffer
Reviewed by Alyssa Quimby, M.D.
February 14, 2023

Masturbation may not be a topic of discussion at the dinner table, but it’s certainly something many of us are doing. In fact, a survey published in PLoS One in 2017 of more than 2,000 American adults found that about 40% of women had masturbated within the previous month.

Good for them, says Anna Cabeca, D.O., a board-certified ob-gyn who specializes in talking to women about hormone management, and author of MenuPause: Five Unique Eating Plans to Break Through Your Weight Loss Plateau and Improve Mood, Sleep, and Hot Flashes. She means this literally—Cabeca says that “self-pleasuring” (her term of preference) is good and healthy for women of any age, but she emphasizes the benefits of masturbation after 40.

The Benefits of Getting in Touch with Yourself

“[Masturbation] is especially important as a woman ages because it increases the hormone oxytocin, which is the hormone of longevity and is associated with optimal aging, including better connection, better mood, and better physical health,” Cabeca says.